Sunderland apprenticeship firm is in seventh heaven

From left, David Wilson, director of curriculum and quality; commercial director Steve Metcalf and Lee Kennedy, director of teaching and learning.

From left, David Wilson, director of curriculum and quality; commercial director Steve Metcalf and Lee Kennedy, director of teaching and learning.

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Apprenticeship specialist firm Xiscad Training has moved into new premises seven times the size of its old home.

Based at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (Bic), the company has gone from 700 sq ft to more than 5,000 sq ft just three years after it was launched above a shop on Hylton Road.

We have employed a lot of apprentices ourselves because we decided that if it was possible to grow our business with apprentices then we would.

Steve Metcalf, Xiscad commercial director

The company boast a 97 per cent success rate at supplying IT companies with employees, as well as having 94 per cent of apprentices going into higher education or employment.

Steve Metcalf, commercial director said: “We have employed a lot of apprentices ourselves because we decided that if it was possible to grow our business with apprentices then we would.

“We have taken on 14 who have become supervisors in the commercial workshops. Three have gone through their teaching qualifications to become tutors.

“Apprentices are so valuable to SMEs and you really get to know the person at the end. We differ because we offer a professional telecoms qualification that isn’t offered elsewhere.”

The BIC was the perfect location, he added: “We benefit from superb service and it is great that we can adapt the configuration of the rooms to adapt our needs.”

“The transport links are fantastic for our apprentices to get here from all over the region. Not many of them drive, so it has good links.”

The company has also expanded with several recycling contracts with local authorities and colleges.

David Wilson, director of curriculum and quality said: “The recycling contract with local authorities was agreed on the premise that whatever we get, we give 30 per cent back as a charitable donation to the community, and we sell the remainder at a much reduced cost just to service that community.

“As an example, we work with South Tyneside Council and we have just taken a consignment with nearly 4,000 pieces, desktops, laptops and telecoms and 30 per cent of that will be paid back to South Tyneside as a charitable donation.”

Donna Surtees, senior space adviser, said: “It is fantastic to witness Xiscad growing, especially that we can facilitate the company’s expansion here at the BIC.

“I wish them all the success in the future and look forward to helping them with their next office.”

For more information on Xiscad Training visit www.xiscad.co.uk

To view office space at the BIC please call Donna on 0191 5156 6066 or e-mail donna.surtees@ne-bic.co.uk.